Around the sheds
Morning all - hope everything is well in your sheds? been a flurry of activety over the weekend with some hatchings, seperating and rings chicks, then hens laying first eggs of sencond round. Lots of info coming in from various sources but the main thing seems to be hens deserting eggs! in my shed too this has been a problem but the incubator has come to the rescue on each occasion - but there comes a time when you don't have enough places to put the eggs once you have binned the clear ones and made up full clutches of fertile eggs. I always respect Linda Hogan's opinions and she make some good suggestions on her website "Canary Tales" in fact she uploaded a new article yesterday that refers to hens leaving the nest and why she thinks this happens - well worth a read if you have time.
Spent he morning in the shed catching up and doing some general jobs that needed attention. Separated some chicks and rung them, the rings from the BC seem to be much better quality this year and very easy to put on, the metal seems to be much more substantial.
As would be the case for most - you can count on anything that looks good being the one to get something wrong with it, I have a cracking dark buff chick that I was really hopeful for but it has damaged its wing flying into the cage front, done what I can to make it comfortable but think it is curtains for it.
Quite a few had hatched off whilst I was away in Berlin, so most of what is left in the nest are less than one week old. Exception being 2 nests that will separated before I go to Barcelona next weekend.
Penultimate night before home tomorrow, we leave the training cnetre at 10am and then to Berlin Tegel Airport for flight that gets the team back in the UK for about 1.30pm. Quick whiz up the M6 (yeh right!!) and hope to make the birdshed before lights out tomorrow night.
New from home is that all is well and only one casulalty ( a weakling) has gone by the wayside, so my hope of getting home to more chicks than when I left is looking good. Slowly getting to grips with the facebook page MASON BORDERS but not yet able to work out how to navigate properly between pages - what I do like is the ability to upload photo's from my Blackberry phone straight away. So I will use this to post photo of the chicks as grow aswell as uploading to this website. I have missed not being in the chatroom but all being well I will be able to catch up with you all tomorrow night.
Will be spending the whole weekend in the birdshed no doubt, cleaning out and sorting chicks out, moving any stragglers around and general border husbandary. Looking forward to it.
Several have now been in touch with me to say they are making good progress and have broken the 50 chick mark - so looks like it could be a bumper year if this is a trend accross the country. I hope so for everyones sake.
Fencing day today here in Berlin with 50+ young athletes from GBR, GER, HUN and LTU making up a really good fencing poule and our athletes getting good experience for the upcoming competitions this summer.
News from home is that around a dozen eggs have hatched since I departed but a single chick has been moved to make up nest of 3. Next one due to hatch tomorrow then not til 23rd so will be a rest bite for a few days after tomorrow. My top row of cages are a little high for my wife to see in properly and this morning came the message of panic that one hen had escaped as not in the cage !!!! omg how did it get out? upon checking the cage by standing on the kitchen steps, the hen had been laying in a corner each morning and this morning started to sit the eggs (5) hence giving the impression that not in the cage. I thought it odd that no report of the hen laying as she was at point of lay when I left home but nothing in the nest each day was the msg I was getting - no wonder becuase laying in the corner...duh... at least the cock was being run in with the hen and all should be well in that respect. Eggs now duly moved to nest pan and hope all will be well.
Only 2 more full days here than back to UK Friday and back up to Blackpool by lights out on Friday night, providing that the M6 is kind to me. At least will be at home all weekend before back down to Heathrow Thursday for Barcelona (yawn) away again, but at least only until Sunday night.
News I have been getting from mates at home is varied and some good, some not do good. General problems seem to be hens deserting the nest and hens not feeding chicks well. For me it has been some DIS and young hens deserting the eggs at about 3 - 4 days. So far I have managed to incubate them and move as a full clutch to nest that had clear eggs or just fostered them out.
Total number of chicks unknown at present but I think once eggs that are sitting now have hatched and chicks reared - that will be enough for me this year. Will assess situation when I get back.
Good Luck to all chatroom mates, sorry but just not getting opportuinity at night to get online with time difference etc.....
Day 2 in Berlin for me and having serious birdshed withdrawal symptoms!! especially when I get news from home that in the nests that have eggs due off today there are egg shells on the floor of the cage - makes you want to know exactly what is what and how many etc.... home minder strongly believes in leaving well alone and let the hens just get on with it. So long as they have regular supply of softfood and clean water the hens will care for the chicks - yeh right!! if only that was the case as we all know. I think that if I go home to any increase in chick numbers then it is a bonus and have to be thankfull that at least they are being looked after. Main objective now when I get back next Friday is to try and get a round from the best pairs and then my season will be over. I will reduce the hens down to about 8 - 10 only for this purpose. All being well I will be able to close down the breeding by end of May at the latest.
I have heard from several friends that they are having problems with hens deserting the nest and leaving either eggs or young chicks - if anyone has any words of advice then I am sure it would be appreciated if a Forum debate was started on this subject. I will do my best to post a news article each day but wifi access in my cave (sorry room) is weaker than than Man Utd chances of finishing in top four. !! :-(
Just back from Birmingham (South) been at a mtg all day, left home at 6am and home 9pm, would have been sooner but got caught up in an accident on the M42 - delayed me massively. Didnt get in the shed tonight but have been told that some egg shells on the floor today so sounds good for a few more chicks maybe. Will be able to have a look in the morning before setting off for Heathrow and out to Berlin for next week - talk about bad timing!! loads of chicks in the nest and generally plenty to do in the shed, running second round cocks in with hens etc.... have to rely on home help :-) going to nip on the chatroom briefly tonight as we think Mick will be back in the UK and make an appearance tonight in the chatroom.
Hope everyone underway now or close to it - good luck and hope you have a good breeding season.
The GCWBFC club held their annual general meeting on Wednesday 9th April and the following officers were elected, President John Cunningham - Vice President Chris Gibbs - Chairman Dean Freestone - Vice Chairman Tony Quinn - Secretary Chris Gibbs - Treasurer Tony Wright - Patronage Secretary Des Horswell - Publicity Officer - John Cunningham - Transport Manager Geoff Taylor - Fund Raiser Tony Quinn - Ass Fund Raiser Roger Brett - Show Secretaries Dean/Victoria Freestone - Show Manager Trevor Drake - Chief Steward Tony Quinn - Catering Manageress Victoria Freestone. Meeting held 2nd Wednesday each month contact 01179643034
New Border Convention Panel Judges
Congratulations to Antony Bristow, Colin Farrell and George McGougan on being appointed to the B Panel
Day started of chucking it down with rain but cleared up this afternoon to a dry and cold day. The hen had only hatched 2 from 4 by the time the lights went out tonight but happy enough yesterday when of my better pairs hatched 3 from 4 and they look like being clear or ticked at the most. Next 3 days I have 3 more nest due off then a break for few days - but will be in Berlin from Friday so all will be left in the capable hands of home team!!
Very bust at work has meant that I have had to commit to sitting at my desk most of the weekend today typing training log replies and making logistic preparations for the next few weeks when I will be away in Berlin for 7 days and then back for a couple and straight out to Barcelona. Anyone involved with transporting equipment, pistols and athletes as a team will appreciate the amount of admin that goes into each trip. But hey, this is what I choose to do and most of the time really enjoy it. Down side is that I missed out on going to the Schools Biathlon Final being held at the Olympic Stadium this weekend, some 1,600 children benefiting from the London 2013 legacy. I don't normally get involved with just the swim/run events but this is a one off special effort by everyone in our sport and I am behind a desk in Blackpool.
Managing to nip in the shed through the day though and have a nest due off today, I see egg shell on the floor so looks promising for when I check it later today. 3 more nests due off before I leave for Berlin on Friday so hope I can get a few more chicks in the nest before I go.
Hope the BC AGM goes OK today and we get some positive feedback that all is well in our hobby.
It is absolutely chucking it down here at the minute - weather completely crazy in this country.
Will try to get on the Chatroom tonight - catch up later.
Thanks to Mick Slater for sending in some pics of his shed (external and internal) nice set up Mick. He tells me that he has some chicks hatching out now too.
I have a couple of clutches due off over this weekend - fingers crossed
GCWBFC Annual General Meeting 2014
Wednesday 9th April at 8.00pm
Page Community Association All welcome
Just uploaded a few photos of the chicks so far. some just leaving the nest, example next to news box. A clear youngster - nice enough I think.
I have just put a link on the Border Info & Links Page for Paul and Billy Heathcotes website. Well worth a look especially the picture galleries - some really nice borders to see.
Here today in Blackpool, work is manic and not finding the time to get down to the birdshed much other than first thing in the morning and at teatime. Young ones are being catered for though and my bird minder!! does a good job. I saw some egg shells on the floor this morning so assuming that new arrivals evident - not sure how many as I just left them alone. Saturday, Sunday and Monday will see the end of the first round except for 2 or 3 that went down later due to doubling up the cocks.
Complete pain in the backside this morning as I had a nest full of jumpers (chicks that spring out of the nest before they are really ready to do so) no matter what you do they will keep leaping out, settle for a few minutes then ping out they go. So nest pan on the floor and they can either use it or not as the case maybe.
Hope to get on the chatroom bit later tonight when I finish work.
Morning, now in the fencing hall having been to the swim at 6am this morning. No news from the birdshed so will have to catch up bit later on. Only know that several chicks hatched yesterday so all seems to be well.
Morning everyone. Writing from my Premier Inn room at Gloucester before start of hectic days of meetings and tonight setting up for the weekends competition, should be home actually as clutches due to hatch Sunday.
The website facebook page is really proving to be a hit and brilliant link to so many birdmen around the world - thanks to everyone that has joined etc. See link next to the chat box.
Catch up later, have to dash for early start
Wet and cold day here today but all seems to be ok in the shed, should have some hatching tomorrow or the next day so fingers crossed for that.
I have some information about a new bedding supplier Vernon's Animal Bedding firstname.lastname@example.org they do a range of products and seem to be very competitive price wise. I had a couple of samples sent to me and sent Nicole my observations back this afternoon. The sample were very clean and could be used. I have asked if a product one grade (size) small granules could be produced and then it would be equal to or better than Gold Chip, then they could be very useful to the canary world in the UK. Nicole has been helpful and should you want to know anymore about their products then email her at the email address in this news article.
Getting to grips with the fb page but still not confident and know I am missing all sorts of contacts coming in - my inbox is smashed to bits with emails and "friends" omg am I supposed to respond to everything - need to retire early to do that. Just how many Bordermen are there in Italy? seems like half the Italian population breeds borders and all of a sudden want me to like them mmmm..... and be their friend!!
Tea time in the shed - off down to feed the birds, bye for now. S
Amazing new world for me on FB - the Mid Ulster FB page is well worth a look and liking. I can't keep up with all the msgs at the minute but will catch up on them best I can.
You will see that I have started a FB link - not got a clue what to do with it yet but I am sure will soon pick it up. I had only launched it a few minutes and was hit with msgs to be friends!! I have booked a tutorial session with my daughter so I know what I am doing. See how we go!
Well we were warned last night on the weather forecast that temperatures would drop significantly overnight and they sure did. My outside thermometer recorded minus 5 so those that didnt have a frost precaution (heater of some description) might have a chilly shed this morning. I have got to the stage whereby I dont want to be stood in the shed chittering because I am so cold - so I keep it at a sensible temperature for me as much as the birds. As we used to say in the army it is easy to go hungry and be cold but when there is no need to then don't.
Birds ok this morning no casualties overnight, hens seem to be feeding chicks fairly well, one a bit smaller in one of the nests so giving it the odd top up - should make it but will eait and see. Wednesday and then over the weekend (when I am away again) are the next clutches to hatch and then that is it for round one, except for a couple of hens that have shown no interest at all yet. Fingers crossed that the fertile eggs actually hatch and not DIS as that would be very annoying. Catch up later in the chatroom. S
History in the making - I had a visitor today outside of the Fleetwood weekend!! I shackled Garyy Burrows to the shed for an hour or so making sure he didnt leave too soon. As it happend he wanted to stay anyway and we had a really good catch up. He brought me a couple of bags of sawdust (Teirwohl) seems to be ok and I will move to it instead of Gold Chip now. I can see what some people say about the odd sharp bit in it but the stuff is so tightley packed that if you use your hand to dig it out then you tend to feel the odd sharp bit even more - a scoop solves that problem. The actual size of the granuals are perefectly ok.
Plenty of comments came to me about Billy Heathcotes idea of the Hessian liners for the nest pans (see opposite photos) comments ranged from very positive and a great idea to some question about if the eggs would actually roll around to easy? one thing for sure they wouldnt snag or not turn at all - no chance of addled eggs. If you have an opinion then come on the chatroom about 9.30pm tonight and we can have a small debate about pro's and con's of Billy's idea.
Also the BC mandate being discussed on the Forum page is picking up steam, we could have a discussion around that too later.
No news from the shed today, hens feeding the chick that have hatched so far, other hens sitting and some still laying first round.
Added a photo sent in by Paul Heathcote of his now finished shed extension - it looks better than my house, well better painted anyway. There are 2 photos on the "around the sheds" slide show from Paul, one with shed half way complete and one with it completed. Lovely job Paul - nice one.
Not much news from the shed today other than couple of hens have started laying at last, thought they were going to be duds but they have come good. Still got one or 2 that wont have a cock bird anywhere near them though - introduce a cock and all hell lets loose, got a slide part way open to try and get them used to each other but not a chance at the minute.
26th is the next due off date and then 30th and 31st and 1st - that will be the first round done and dusted, except for the hens that dont want to know and have done nothing yet. I suppose birds are like any other living creature in that there are good parents, bad parents, ones that make good homes and ones that don't, one that feed their kids and those that don't, so no different with borders - some are good and some are not. I bet reading this there will be bordermen saying, bugger me I have got all the bad ones in my shed!! - well believe me they are spread everywhere and we all have our fair share of duffers - some just don't admit to it :-)
Hang on and enjoy the ride best you can. S
Morning everyone - from a bright but cold spring day here in Blackpool, the sun is shining and after a dull early start the sky is blue.
Carried out my morning duites in the birdshed and more positives than negatives today, in the majority the hens are feeding ok but one hen deserted overnight and a couple of chicks squashed in another nest. So the eggs are in the incubator and they will be fine I think (usually are) and squashed chicks in the bucket. I am sure that these are things that happen in most bird sheds at some point during the season and no one has a trouble free time - you just dont hear about it. The premier exhibitors must also have set backs, DIS, clear eggs and deserting hens but as I say it is not something that is common knowledge.
Last year I bred 90 youngsters (actually rung 90) and that was a task to far for me with being away so much. It was an amazing achievement, don't get me wrong and I was humbled at doing so well when many of my friends struggled, but guys believe me it is hard work managing that lot, feeding and changing water let alone trying to show cage train them! omg. I was thinking this year if I could get about half that number it would give me sufficient to select a breeding team for 2015 and have a few to dispose of to those that have ordered birds from me. Although If I could sneak to about 50 that would do me nicely, a few more than my original target for this year. Just about at the half way point now, on that basis.
I am not using soaked seed this year as last year it made no difference to me not using it, the Hooded siskin mix is being used as a dry misture and the hens are already accepting it. Be careful if you put in softfood though as the hen scatter the egg food to get to the siskin mix and they waste the eggfood. I wait until chicls are about 7 days old then let the hens have some siskin mix in a separate drawer.
As I said before, dont negelct the singled off cocks if you dont keep them in with your hens - keep them fit for 2nd round!!
Speak tonight in Chatroom if you are around.
Absolute juggling act at the minute - hens hatching off and not interested, hens sitting and deserting after about a week and then hens that are being good and doing what they should do. All that said, it is what I have come to expect and patience required at the highest order. Several border chicks now hatched and whilst not without complications, I am just happy that there are fertile eggs in the shed and chicks are now chipping out. Had one nest of DIS (3 out of the 5 fertile) and the usual smattering of clear eggs. My first round is usally not as good as second one but sign are ok at the moment. From what I have seen there seems to be higher proportion of darks, but that doesn't bother me at all - I have paired for some light marked birds this year so I am sure they will come eventually.
Waiting game now, get them out of the nest and on the perches then we can start counting them - until then we have nothing. Good luck to those with eggs due off this week.
One chatroom member has close to 50 border chicks already - bumper year?
Back from weekend working away, been very busy and totally worn out, will sleep well tonight.
One or two have hatched off but not sure how many, but eggshell on cage floors. Will have a proper look tomorrow.
Cumbria BFCC A.G.M
Thursday 13th March 2014 at 07-30pm
Aspatria Rugby Union Club
Friday 14th March 2014 at 8.30.
Discussion on auction and programme for 2014/15.
City of Dublin Workingmans Club
Saturday 22nd March 2014 start 8.00pm
Greenside Cricket club,
All are very welcome
Queries contact George Eltringham 01914133838 or Malcolm Scott 01914132830
Border Fancy Canary Club
Sunday, 23rd March, 2014 at 11 a.m
The Cricket Club, Victoria Road, Fauldhouse
West Lothian, EH47 9LF
Full patronage for 2014 specialist shows and affiliated patronage for CBS shows is now available. Please contact patronage secretary Mr Des Horswell 435 Speedwell Road,Kingswood,Bristol BF 151 ER. 01179672933 All applications must be received by the end of May
Got back from Aberdeen last night but shattered today and felt like a zombie for most of it. Been a nice day weather wise but tonight we have a hard frosty fog come down and temerature has dropped significantly.
Couldnt wait any longer to check the clutches of eggs that sitting and due off this Sunday - mixed results, two of the very ones I wanted to have full eggs were clear but some had 4 full eggs in a nest so can't complain. The next batch of eggs are due around the 21st with others only set tonight and so due on 26th - I like to hold back about 4 - 6 clutches to set on same night as it gives much more flexibility if you have to move chicks around.
Some on the chatroom last night were delighted with start to their season with double figure chicks (borders) in one case with more fertile eggs due off today and the coming weekend. Excellent news, well done (especially as a 2 of the hens producing came from here :-)
Sort of brings the news we want to here because generally if people are doing well around the country then there is chance it will be a good season for us all - if you believe that weather and climate makes a difference.
So overall sounds like people are sticking to their own plan and happy enough so far.
Catch up in the Chatroom later tonight. S
Afternoon everyone, just taking a break form the shed, been in there since first light this morning. You learn so much from just sitting watching the characterisitcs of your birds. Some hens are total bullies to the cocks and visa versa - I have one cock that as soon as it gets put in the hens cage he rips the nest bowl to shreds and all her hard work is lost - Top tip "put the hen in the other half of the breeding cage then put him in so that he has no access to the nest bowl" bloody swines some cocks.
Had a website link sent to me from America that sells just about every "good" bird medication that you would need, including some mycin's that are no longer available here in the UK. If you have relatives in the US or mates that would send you some over then this is the link to the website (luckily my brother lives in Florida)
Just cut and paste that link.
Thinking of having a conference call soon as we did last year, it means I give out a phone number that we all call at the same time and basically we have a debate/forum about a particular subject. I was thinking about early breeding season problems to be avoided or along those lines for anyone just starting out.
Will keep everyone posted if it goes ahead.
Enjoy remainder of your weekend. S
Twitter got the better of me sorry to say!! so I will maintain the account and will use it from my pda/phone but not have a direct feed on the Home Page. I will use it to upload photos etc through the day when in the shed if anything of interest, to see these you will have to click the link (2 on home page) @masonborders and then just follow me by clicking FOLLOW.
Enough tweeting for one day thank you.
Had morning in the shed and all going as planned so far, odd little problem but only what I would expect - the next moan from me will be when I check eggs for fertility and they are clear, that is the most annoying thing ever apart from find a nest full of squashed chicks - been close to tears many times, it gives you an actual sick feeling in your stomach and no matter if you are Phil or a novice just begining the feeling is felt just the same. A sign of weakness lies in giving up but the most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
By popular request I have uploaded my 2014 Hatching Dates Sheets. See link opposite. Didnt realise people actually looked at it, but here it is anyway.Big numbers the setting date and little numbers the hatching date. Good luck
Irish BFCC Discussion on auction and preparation of 2014/15 program
Friday 7th March. at 8.30 pm City of Dublin Workingmen’s Club
Sunday 9th March 2014 10.30 SHARP
WINSILL NEIGHBOURHOOD RESOURCE CENTRE. CANTERBURY WAY, WINSILL,
BURTON ON TRENT, DE15 0HD
MEETING SUSSEX AND KENT B.F.C.C. A.G.M
Sunday 9th March 2014 10 am
Larkfield Village Hall.
West Wales BFCC
Annual General Meeting
Monday 10th March 2014 7.00pm
Morriston Rugby Club
Morning - ever wish you hadn't started something? this Twitter thing is doing my head in but not going to let it beat me. I have consulted my IT Geek (Laura) and now know a little bit about how it works. If anyone that wants to post a Tweet direct to the home page then we have to be following each other (omg, all my life I have been wary of people following me and now I am encourageing it - just dont get too close)
So..... you have to follow @masonborders and then I follow you. Then you will appear on the Tweet Box.
Give it a go and see how we get on...
Birds this morning are OK, some aggresive cocks but once they have done their duty they are out of the cage as quick as they went in so no problem there. Still have some reluctant hens but they will come forward in next week or so and will keep the flow going. Main thing is to set a couple of pairs at same time so that you have flexibility to move youngsters around if you have to. Those that use a de-humidifier dont forget to switch it off soon or at least when the eggs are set as you will/may have problems when hatching comes. You dont want to be sucking all the humidity out of your birdroom at this time of the season - common sense but easy to overlook. Also have a couple of nest type options available as some hens go bonkers at sight of a red clay bowl but take straight away to a wooden pan or lighter coloured one. I also find that if a hen wants to nest on the floor, then let her, no need upsetting her, just let her go to nest. I usually put a small piece of card on the wires if nesting close to the cage front so that some privacey - also I find that a flat bottomed wooden nest pan is better in these circumstances as the bowls wobble if not supported. Just my thoughts.....
As promised I have uploaed the Twitter account that I took down in 2012.
I think this is a really good facility and anyone with a twitter account can add messages to it instantly or upload a photo direct from your iphone/smartphone. I just tried uploading a pic of hen sitting this afternoon and within seconds of taking the pic it was on the home page.
You can scroll down the side bar and see old messages, but the one on there are from 2012 so will take a few days to build up with new ones.
Lets see how we go with it and then decide if a welcome addition to the site or not.
Just back from days meeting in London, 5am start this morning, train down and back. Went down in the cattle truck wagon but back 1st class it was actually cheaper and it always baffles me how that happens.
Had update about the shed and no more desertions, few more eggs laid this morning so good news today. Still several hens being held back yet because they are not ready, another week or so I think before nest bowls introduced to them. Will run the cocks in with them prior to chat and gauge reaction from hens, this is usually a good indicator, but I am strong beiliever in a visual check of the vent too.
Next task is to see some fertile eggs hatching out so that we can move on to the challenge of rearing the chicks - makes the heart flutter justing thinking about it. Borders are like being on the Big One roller coaster ride at the Pleasure Beach just down the road, one minute you are at the top and high point but the next minute you crash to lowest point of the ride. I have my ticket and the ride has started !!
Incubator springs into action today! had it fired up for few days in case of any early desertions and true to form a couple of young hens run their eggs today after sitting for 2 days so they are now in incubator, once i know if they are fertile I will move them under a foster hen or bin them if otherwise unfertile.
I was expecting some hens to leave their first clutch of eggs as they are so fit just didnt go broody - will give them a week or so now and re-introduce the nest bowls, they should then be fine and take to sitting them out. Absolute constant challenge on daily basis trying to maximixe fertility, produce eggs, get hens to sit and then rear the chicks - but it is all what makes us bordermen isn't it?
No doubt many hours of head scratching in front of me in the nest couple of months.
Firstly apols to Glenn calling him Gregg duh me.... in my previous posting.
Nice day but freezing cold, not bothering the birds though as they seem to be going good guns at the minute and few eggs now in the storage box. I know it is early but as I keep saying, if I dont get them going I miss out on the season because I have to be done and dusted by 2nd week June due to overseas commitments with work. I always try to manage my trips best I can around hatching dates but not always possible.
Just nipping down to the shed now to have last check today and top up seed etc.
Catch up later. S
Well the Stafford road trip opver and now back in Blackpool. It was great to catch up with so many chatroom members and see plenty of bordermen knocking around. The BC desk was well manned and drawing attention with the Journals piled up on the desk for complementry copies to passers bye and interested parties. Plenty with be thumbing through BC Journals tonight?? maybe not :-)
Thanks to Alan, Simon and Gregg for a good night on Saturday, dinner and couple of pints. The talk was good and informative
The Stafford Sale itself never ceases to amaze me with the numbers of people that actually attend!! we were there before 8am and sat in about half a mile que for the car park, this was just the traders at this time and then the general public get in later - I bumped into Mark S who had just jumped the public que that was over 800m long (no joking!) and 2 or 3 deep in places just to get a wrist band. The numbers of sale birds increases each time I go with for sure the mutation british rising price everytime; reasonable agate siberian goldie cock £650.00 with others around the same price bracket. Border few and far between and most look like norwich crosses but there was the odd one or 2 that found way into sale hall that actually didnt look too bad, mostly from people we know.
All in all a good day, able to top up with few supplies and best of all as I said earlier it was good to see so many of the website members there.
Got home to some eggs laid and taken out of nests for me as usual - eggs are one things though and getting chicks another (as we all know) Talking to people today seems quitea few are making a start in some way or another, some just paring up, some few weeks away, some with eggs and chicks even!
Tired now though, been a long few days!! quick chat in chatroom tonight then crash out. S
Now in Gloucester and engaged with shooting training - athletes doing very well. But what a contrast today, we have team competing in Appapulco (Mexico) in World Cup #1 and the competition has had to be cancelled after 2 of the 5 events dur to extreme heat - 44 degrees and the horses brought in for the competition are falling over with exhaustion, so you can imagine what state our athletes are in. Then the contrast! here in Gloucester this morning it was scraping the windscreen time. Difference of 40 degrees!! omg.
So today I am at training camp until later this afternoon then whizzing up to Stafford to meet up with "the gang" od chatroom guys for a curry and some banter no doubt. Then have a look at the hotel car boot sale this evening !! with the Stafford sale on tomorrow. Looking forward to it.
Dashing around this morning trying to get sorted before I leave shortly for training camp this weekend starting tonight at Hartpury - not what I need right now but has to be done. Good news is that birds are in fine shape and nest building going well, first few eggs now safely stored away and expect more over next few days. Cutting away tomorrow night to head up to Stafford, stay there Sunday morning and then whizz back to Blackpool to rescue the bird minder!!
Amazing what an old light bulb can bring to nest building, old hands will already have one on standby but anyone worried about scruffy nest builders, just get a light bulb and turn it a few times in the nest and it leaves the nesting material nicely round and shaped. I find if there are any lumps or uneven bit of nesting material in the nest the hens cant turn the eggs and this sometimes leads to problems. Some say the hens dont turn the eggs at all but I think they do and this definitely helps. Once the hens are sitting dont forget to keep the cocks fit if they are not in with the hens as pairs (if so they will eat the softfood anyway) but if not then keep them in excellent condition and dont neglect them, you need them in tip top condition for 2nd round. The odd bit of softfood and wheatgerm oil will keep them on their toes.
Thats all for now - in hurry and have to get on the M6/M5
Just been sent a link to a nice website Mansfield Woodhouse CBS see at http://www.mwcbs.co.uk
particularly meaningful for me as this was one of my first club show many years ago, along with Holmewood, Shirebrook and Chesterfield all hold many fond memories of driving with my grandfather to these shows. Thanks for sending me the link George, I enjoyed browsing arounf the site.
Birds settling back down nicely after complete lighting system failure and Les from Sunrise bailing me out with a next day delivery of new dimmer unit, had previous one for many years so think it just gave up, on one of the circuit boards a couple of little wires fused together somehow and burnt out.
Nests still being built, nesting material being re-cycled as much as possible as huge amount of waste otherwise. Hope for good percentage to be laying by weekend, some started already - seen cocks mate to most but not all, then again we dont always see them mating. Fingers crossed they have tale good tread. Only time will tell.
Oh the joy of spending time in the shed and got a full week until Friday when away again but only Saturday working then drop into Satfford Sale on my way back on Sunday for a nose around and meet up with friends for an hour or so.
Good news from the shed is that hens are building nicely and cocks treading in strong fashion - I think I can say control has been handed back to me and hope to get some results with fertile eggs soon. Done all I can to ensure things go ok now - so just need to see if what I have done suits the birds and they produce the goods. Border hens are like women, some keep excellent house in order and some just chuck stuff everywhere, birds: some make the nicest tidy nest and others build like a wood pigeon rubbish nest.
Hope for more positive reports from now on :-)
Back in Blackpool and in some cases arrived at the start line too late as eggs to be found on the floor of cages - looking at this in positive way at least I know the hens are in great condition and the programme worked well but they were probably a week ahead of were I thought they were. So immediate action now in place as only single eggs laid so cocks straight in, mated like rampant rapist and nest bowls in. I will let them finish and sit, rescue any fertile eggs and put under fosters - then rest them a week and kick off properly. Not total mess but another week away and it could have been. Plenty that are on perfect timeline and now following normal routine, nest pans in this morning and will introduce cocks as and when as usual.
At home all next week so will be 100% in shed each day - that will get them on track etc.
Still away on training camp and itching to get back to the shed now so will be cutting my stay short and return back to Blackpool tomorrow. News from home is that hens are very forward and scraping nests in the corners of cages etc...... cocks have been run in with these hens today in hope to catch them and not too late. Urgent action required as all the little feeders (x3) laid today on the cage floors so expect the borders not far behind.
Sorry not been active on the chatroom last few nights but just so busy on our training camp and what with 32 athletes and half of them our German visiting team, it is keeping the team staff very occupied each night trying to keep control and athletes in their own rooms etc.... anyone with any team experience will know what I mean.
Due to the remaining flooded roads most of our days seem to be spent on a minibus driving around venues, today for example we where in Cheltenham pool first thing this morning, then over to Hartpury (normally a 20min journey but today 1 hour) then down to Bath until this evening. Same again tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday!!
News from home is that the birds (cocks I hope) are singing and hens are very restless and carrying everything around the cage, if accurate description I may be able to get things back on track following the water problem last week.
I will be home for a day and half so can check them out no worries before I am away again!!
Hope all well with everyone and things progressing in the birdrooms around the country. S
It is with great sadness that the GCWBFC report the passing of Mrs Pat Bent , wife of club member Mr Merv Bent. Friends and members of the club send their condolences to Merv and his family at this sad time.
Judges selected for this years show are as follows Mr P King Mr H Kershaw Mr I Perrier show date 1st 2nd November
Well as suspected the competition was actually cancelled today, the water levels just too high and access to the venues not possible. We are able to commute to Bath each day though and do some training with the german National team, little bit of a headache having to drive what can be 90min there and same back with full day of training in between. Oh well have to do what we have to do - here now until Thursday then drive back to Blackpool for 36hours then back to Bath Saturday afternoon. The birds are only getting minimum attention now and what with the water seeping up through the floor etc - I am just going to keep them ticking over and see if I can get them down bit later on when I get some time - had chicks in the nest this time last year - not this one though.
Well the weather has got me along with several other website members! not so bad for me just laying water seeping up into the shed, about 4" deep outside and not coming over the doorstep but is a problem. A couple of calls today that make mine like nothing, one has water up to the first row of breeding cages and shed totally swamped - doesnt stand thinking about does it?
I have insurance assessor coming in the morning to check out damage to my house roof and flasshings etc - 15 tiles off at least and complete pain in the backside. Those watching news will have seen the conditions here in Blackpool over past 24 hours - rain not as bad as in some areas but the wind and gales certainly as bad.
If it continues for much longer and the water level gets worse my breeding season will be over before it starts, the damp will just knock everything sideways. Then who is to say that it wont be the same next year? I follow the weather forecasts closely and seems we havr the American snow to hit us yet - can't wait.
My comp this weekend is cancelled but I still have to be away from tomorrow for a full week, probably the decision will be made for me by time I come back as to if I will have a season or not. Remain positive is the way forward!! plenty of time to get caught up yet.
Well they forecast bad weather and gale force winds and I can confirm the whole lot has arrived here in Blackpool. we made the national news for a brief report from the prom - highest winds for years, loads of damage already tonight. My shed took a pasting last night and the serious amount of water that came down started to seep up through my floor, wont flood but dont need damp coming in right now. I said yesterday that the birds were not just as spritely as they have been, They are not enjoying the constant wet cold weather and wind howling around the shed all night.
My competition this coming weekend is looking doubtful but I still have to go because the German team arrive tomorrow and I have to meet up with them Friday. One thing for sure we are going to need snorkels and mask, probably flippers too.
I have put the photo back on the home page of the chick with black spot to remind those less experienced what exactly to look out for. The main problem is that people only see this when they lift the dead chick out of the nest as not many handle the chicks at this age to inspect them, true or not?
Catch up in Chat Room shortly
Cleveland B.F.C.C. The A.G.M.will be held on
12th February 2014 at
The Crown, High Street, Brotton. 7:30 pm
North Staffs.BFCC Meeting Open Discussion
12th February at 8pm
Green Cinnamon & White BFCC
12th February at 8pm
Page Community Association
ABirmingham Area AGM Thursday 27th February 8pm at Dudley sports & social club ,High ercal ave ,Breirley hill ,Dudley DY5 3QH.
Enquiries 01902 496165
I received news overnight from Jim Mctaggart that his is now in partnership (see photo opposite) good luck to both.
What the hell is the weather playing at? overnight it was terrible here, RAIN and strong gales causing havoc and to top it off a serious dip in the temperature. Even with full control of the birdroom conditions (light and heat) I noticed a slight change in the birds when I went in the shed this morning, even though I control everything they still know what the weather is doing (this is my belief anyway)
Going to be difficult days ahead as I am away from Friday for a full week until the following Friday - then home for Saturday and away again Sunday - then taking a week out of work. Nothing more than I have done in previous years at this time (same training camp each year) leave the birds in capable hands and conditioning programme continues whilst I am away..... some might say this is the reason I did well last year and I should go away more often. Yeh right!
When I get time I like to sit in the shed and just watch the birds at this time of year so even if I have to go back to the office and finish off once the lights in the shed go out, I always try to find an hour or so just before lights out to have some quiet time to just chill and observe the birds. It is really at this time you can tell how they are taking to the conditioning programme - have you ever wondered what the birds would be saying if they could speak english and not canary language? same food day after day? drinking water is foul, arranged marriages!! the swap parteners - just thoughts.
One thing for sure the hens are about to go through very stressful and demanding time on their bodies, they will in each clutch of eggs (if fit) deposit about the equivalent of a quarter of their body weight and to do this they have to be in excellent condition. The muscles they use to squeeze the eggs out are same lateral muscles used to fly, this unknown to many is one of the main reasons they need to exercise in a flight cage before breeding season, so many think it is just to work off surplus fat and neglect the fact that the muscle have to be strong enough to do the job of pushing the egg out. The hens vent must be in good clean condition and not stuck up with mess otherwise all the pushing in the world will result in nothing more than an egg bound bird and death iniment. Just as important as the flight cages is a short period of time in a smaller cages afterwards so that the muscles then adapt and rest before the onsett of egg laying. You will notice that previously very active hens slow down a few days before they are due to lay - my thought is that they are preparing themselves for having what equates to child birth 4 -5 days on the trot.
My 2 days in the shed was interupted due to fact I had to carryout some emergency repairs on the garage roof and fence panels etc following the very bad winds lately. Had to be done because started to leak in the garage.
Anyway managed to also get in the shed for plenty of time and singled off my hens - had to ge this completed this weekend as I am away for every weekend for a while now. Not 100% sure the pairs are as I want them yet but very close to it. Another fews weeks yet though before I start to think about pairing up - target will be 1st week of March now if birds are ready. Those that are will be paired, but others will wait until bang on ready.
I see Pagey has registered on the Forum his condolances about Raymond the cockerel !! roumour has it he was guest of honour today (lunchtime) unfortunately he "ducked" out of the speech as nothing to crow about..... Alan was said to have been seen in Argos looking at alarm clocks? no more Raymond to give a cocka doodle do at 5.30am each morning. Take advantage of opportunity to get a lie in Alan.
Thats me for now.... catch up on the chatroom later if you are about. S
Not best start to today, one of the proposed breeding team was dead when I went in the shed this morning. Bit of a blow to the plans as it was one of the key cocks I had planned to use. But been around Borders long enough to know that nothing is for certain and it wont be the only setback in next few months.
Took advantage of having a weekend at home and spent all day in the shed and will be same tomorrow. Separated some of the hens into breeding cages and will finish off tomorrow. Got quite a few weekends on the trot working away now. Absolute pain at this time of year being away when should be at home, but work has to come first.
Some will have seen the plea recently to re-home Alan's cockerel (Raymond) well just to give you an update: Raymond is no longer with us :-( a hawk got the better of him and he is crowing no more...... I am now thinking you are all feeling guilty for not giving Raymond a new home.
Pop into the chatroom if you have a few minutes between 9.30pm and 10pm (peak time) we need some new debates and banter. S
Next meeting Wed 12th Feb at 8pm in Page Community Association All welcome
Date of A.G.M. Saturday February 22nd Commencing 1:30 pm at Windle Labour Club, St. Helens
will be held on
12th February 2014 at
Reminder: AGM Sunday 9th Febuary. Dublin Workingmans Club. Little Strand St,off Capel St. 2.30. All welcome. Meeting on Friday 7th same venue at 8.30
Annual General Meeting
Sunday 23rd February 2014 at 11.00am
The Old Vicarage, Sea Dyke Way,
North Staff BFCC
Next meeting will be on the 12th of Feb at Blurton w.m c at 8 pm open discussion
Our AGM Will be held on Wednesday 26th March
West Wales BFCC
Our next mmeting is Mon Feb 10th at 7.30p.m. and the AGM is on the March the 10th start time is 7.00 p.m. both at Morriston Rugby Club.
It's on Sunday 16 February 2014 at the RBL Hall Cadnam commencing at 10:00 hrs.
Anyone that requires information should contact me on either, email@example.com, 01983 761779 or 07714582048
Just been looking at the BC website and notice that quite a few clubs put club meeting news under the NEWS menu and well worth a look each day to see what is going on within clubs.
Not so much a news item but just a little bit of information. I have had several emails and a few phonecalls this week asking me what I base my conditioning programme on and do I have any tips. At the risk of stating the obvious to many website members I stick to certain hard and fast rules that my grandfather taught me, none of which are rocket science.
The birds condition for breeding is triggered by just a couple of changes: length of daylight hours or artificial light letting the birds know they have enough hours/light to feed their chicks. Secondly the increase in protien/softfood/etc that lets them know there that food is going to be around for them to feed the chicks. Added to this is the Vit E and all round vitimins to make sure they are in best of health to get through the season. So they are my basic rules in very broad outline, but within each of those areas there is serious attention to detail. Progressive increase of light from January week by week until I reach 14 hours, then the carefull preparation of the conditioning softfood etc and if all goes well the birds are in full breeding condition (this for me this year will be the end of February) fingers crossed!!
Normally I hate the junk that come through the door but a magazine has appeared today that has a couple of the little electric food choppers that are perfect for chopping up the brocoli etc for your softfood. There is a Morphy Richards Mini Chopper £39.99 reduced to £9.99 and one like the one I currently use £24.99 reduced to only £7.99 they have a website www.24ace.co.uk
Just type Morphy Richards in the search box on the home page. Or go to kitchen clearance items page 5 for the smaller one.
Well no change in the weather here again today, same as remainder of country, rain, rain and more rain. Birds are not affected so thats the main thing, in fact they seems to be better than ever for it - give them a bath and they dont care if raining or not.
I have just put the picture of the nest bowl stand nest to this news box that Ronnie McG sent in last year as people on the chatroom last night were debating the best methods of keeping the cages clean from droppings on the back wall when chicks go over the side and I remember people liking this one of Ronnies so just put it there for a couple of days for you to see. Lots and lots of ideas to combat this problem, some are old tried and tested methods but some really good ones came out in the debate. When I get a minute I will write them up, or someone else can.
Catch up later tonight in the chatroom. S
Evening everyone: only just finished work, been at it all day from dark this morning to dark tonight. Now into serious preparation phase for the summer competition season. Good thing is that I have this coming weekend off and can get stuck in to the last minute jobs in the shed before several more weekends away.
In the shed the cocks are now rampant! feeding feet, wires and slapping food all over the place - all but one are well on the way now. Hens slightly different and behind the cocks, not a bad thing. Although I dont have any that are sickly and some just started to carry bits around, pulling when cocks kick off but another few weeks away yet. Will hit the final stages of conditioning and then they will come into full breeding condition (fingers crossed) once the light reaches 13 hours they will hopefully be ready.
Everyone on chatroom now interested in what stage everyone is at with prep for breeding season - all wanting to know in case they are ahead or behind others. It certainly is a cracking way of keeping in touch with people you would never speak to outside of the shows.
Put some of this years photos from several members on the slide shows just to remind us all of what was about this year.
Just back from training camp and caught up with my emails etc, also added a photo of Pauls shed extension to the shed slide show below.
Glad to be back up north and away from the dreadful floods that the South West are having at the moment - you have our thoughts if you are caught up in those floods.
Back to late to get in shed tonight but will be in there first thing in the morning.
Chatroom now for a few minutes. S
Currently in the swamp lands of South West of England!! you cannot help feeling for the locals here, the fields are just as we see on the daily news, completely flooded and with the wind at the moment it looks more like the sea with mini waves and tide. They say even when the rain goes it will take weeks for the water to actually drain away. Good luck to everyone and you have our thoughts at this time.
Before I left the shed yesterday the birds were in fine form and hens begining to carry, flitting wings and very active>>>> all signs that conditioning going well for the hens. I think one or two are still carrying a little too much fat but not unduly worrying about that. The cocks are on course for what they should be, singing and starting to feed feet etc. All looking good for start at end of this month.
Catch up later all being well depending on wifi signal. S
Evening everyone - I see there is a forum article from Blackbird about the tierwohl sawdust. He thinks the granules are a little long and may be too sharp when birds breeding and possibility of damaging eggs. All a bit of a dilema isn't it? I know ACS Sawdust at Chelmsford Essex do good sawdust but finding a supplier up North is a problem. They want to deliver by the pallet and I can't store that many bags. At least the options are increasing.
Weather turning cold from tomorrow so be prepared for a drop in temperature and don't let birds get caught out with the frost.
Afternoon everyone - wet and horrid day again here in Blackpool. We have had problems with the speed at which the website has been loading up over past while and I think it is due to the size of the photo files that are on the Photo Galleries plus the videos, so I have taken a couple of pages off the site as a temp measure to just see if this resolves the matter. If not then I will link them back, either way I will rotate pics around to keep things fresh and up to date. I could but more webspace and upgrade the package but with a little bit better management of the space I do have it should be ok.
Birds are coming on day by day now and pleased with how they are looking. Working this coming weekend then a weekend off and will do some trimming and toe nails then - that will give the birds to time re-adjust and calm down etc after handling and being trimmed before the hens go into breeding quarters later on in February. Looking to have birds down and (fingers crossed) some chicks by second/third week of March. That depends if the cold weather predicted arrives at wrong time. But can't do much about that so have to work around it.
Weather right at this minute is terrible here in Hartpury, just in middle of very bad lightening storm and rain coming down in sheets. Not the best conditions to be outside in!
Just managed to sneak onto the college internet and get some emails sent and put a quick article in the news box here.
Looking at the fields as we drove to training this morning it wont take much of this current rain down pour to flood over on to the roads again this evening, fields are under water already. I think we are now fed up of the weather and just want some nicer conditions to come so that the birds can start to see some spring like weather and get the breeding season going. Dont think it will be for a while yet though!!
Should be able to get on wifi tonight in the hotel if lucky so will have a quick visit to the chatroom if I have time. otherwise I will be back home tomorrow night. bye for now. S
Afternoon everyone, boy am I busy at the minute! away at an Athlete Development Day all day in Birmingham yesterday, down to Hartpury (Glos) this afternoon - then straight to Sport England HQ in London Bloomsbury Square all day tomorrow and back to Hartpury for athlete training camp until Sunday night. No wonder I am alway knackered.
Well some good news though and that is that the birds are in wonderful condition, the cocks are in fine form, singing away and really healthy. The hens are dashing around the treble breeders, flitting backwards and forwards - taking interest in the cocks singing and all in all just about right for how I want them with about 6 - 8 weeks left before action time. If they come forward before or later then so be it - no real rush this year.
Wheatgerm oil and little softfood preparation introduced and having desired effect. Lights being adjusted weekly until I hit the 13 hours a day mark (end of February target date!)
Will catch up as and when I can - good luck
The cockeral is still available to a good home - get a call in to Alan asap if you are interested.
Re-Homing Plea !!
Anyone that can offer a Bernvelder Cockeral a new home please contact Alan Scott on email firstname.lastname@example.org
The bird is in immaculate condition, young and very fertile. One of nicest examples you will find. Email Alan for a photo and arrange collection.
Back in Blackpool, not too bad a drive back up the M5 and M6 just a couple of 50 miles limits, but did pass quite a serious incident (not accident) and at least 10 police, fire and ambulances present - not sure what ot was though.
Didnt get back in time to check the birds out so not been in the shed, but will be in there at sparrows oclock in the morning.
Apparantly the cocks have been singing heads off all weekend - !!
Afternoon everyone just found some wifi signal more by luck than judgement. News from home is that it is chucking it down with rain, but it is holding off here in Hartpury at the moment. Working with group of potential world class athletes this weekend that have ambition to compete in 2020 Olympic Games - a long career journey ahead of them
Next week will see the step up in further condioning the birds and the countdown is now on towards the breeding season - about 6 - 8 weeks and some will be underway maybe.
I heard yesterday that some have birds down already...... good luck.
Please check out the new information about Show Cage Boxes available made by Chris Watkins. The information is in the Eqpt and Sales drop down menu. (Show Cage Boxes)
I am leaving shortly for another training weekend and shed handed over to the rear party at home to manage for a couple of days. The birds will be better looked after no doubt !! (or as I am told) Nice journey ahead in min or two down the M6 - just started chucking it down with rain - great (not)
Deoending on wifi signal I will be on the Chatroom tonight for short while and will update site as needed over the weekend. If anyone has anything they want uploading of interest then just jot it down and send to me. More photos of sheds would be welcome, I am always getting requests to re-run the shed photos slideshow.
Have a good weekend
Thanks to John for sending in some photo's from last weekends IBFCC Show. Now posted on the home page
Work was at level yesterday that I didnt get finish in time to make the Chatroom, meeting most of day then had to produce the minutes that kept me busy til close to midnight. I am determined to make an appearnace tonight though no matter what.
Mornings have turn a bit cold for time being and I have just set the thermostat to 12 degrees so that any overnight frost doesnt upset the birds. Above all else I want to be comfortable in the shed too, not freezing my bits off!
Little bit of siskin mix soaked in wheatgerm oil and added to some insect mixture given this morning, starting to up the protien levels and educate the birds systems to fact that spring is coming (in my shed anyway!) and getting towards time to breed. I dont have to start so early this year as not an olympic year but I want to have some ready to go down at end of February/1st week of March if possible so that I am done and dusted for my work in the summer at European and World Championships. I am away to Nanjing in China for a few days in August to see some of our young athletes compete at the Youth Olymlic Games, not really that keen to go to China again this year though (as much as I like my Chicken Curry and egg fried rice)
I have had several enquiries from people looking for birds late on and obvious that some are stuck to make their breeding teams up. So if you have spare birds to let go why not just put a note on the Sale or Wanted page under Eqpt and Sales drop down menu.I am sure they will be snapped up. I am carrying a couple of spare hens and one of each (buff and yellow) cock but they are for emergencies in case I lose anything before breeding season starts. So too early for me to commit to help anyone at this stage in case I need them.
Catch up tonight on the Chatroom if you are available.
Morning everyone, sorry about not making the chatroom over the weekend but the wifi signal Saturday night was rubbish in my hotel and could only use my pda phone which is useless for website use. Then I didnt get back to Blackpool until gone 10pm last night so was too late for anything, in particular getting in the shed for a check up on the birds. Got in this morning first thing though and even with only 2 days away you can tell a difference in them.
I managed to get the IBFCC results through in several ways but Colin did the business and had them on the BC webiste very sharp when he got the results through. Congtratulations to all that entered the show and to thos that took the specials. A nice way to bring the show season to a close at the specialist border shows. I am away gain this weekend (and the next !!) but stacks of effort will be put into the weekdays in the shed and then handover at weekend to the rear party whilst I am away. I noted one of my nice hens having a little chuttle this morning, omg if turns out to be a cock I wont be happy - but these things happen.... hope just a hen having a tune up!!
Catch up with everyone tonight all being well.
NEWSFLASH from IBFCC
The best champion and best novice at the last show of the season IBFCC Show today are as follows:
Best Border. D. Somerville
Best Novice. G. Marshall
full results will be posted this evening.
Congratulations to both
Early start in the morning to head off down to Bath for a competition weekend, full pentathlon selection for this years major championships - this is the first of 5 selections with the ranking list drawn up at the end of the series and then the athletes will know who will represent GBR at the European and World Championships, with a series of world cup events thrown in for good measure. This year also see the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing 10th - 28th August so just for good measure another couple of weeks away. I am not going for he whole period (if at all!!)
Been another wet and dreary day here in Blackpool and everything now consistently damp - should moan compared with some parts of the UK that are consistently under water, sorry guys. Where I am going tomorrow is bad aparantly and been told to bring high wellies because the paddocks and stable are very wet at the ride - great, just what I wanted to hear.
Birds are fine, just gave them all a small amount of "mixture" in an eggdrawer before the lights went out tonight and that will give them something a little extra to munch on tomorrow when the lights come on. Cocks are still improving, one or two just starting to feed their feet and singing very well, pleased with them. Hens are perky enough. I will tie some pieces of string on the wires in a couple weeks to get them inerested !! and let them tug away.
I should be able to post the results if I get them from the last Border Show tomorrow at the IBFCC.
Plenty of chat around the Chatroom each night about what members use to condition their birds at this time of year leading into the breeding season. Seems that so many products on the market are the same or very similar but carrying different branding. In my opinion it is all about the companies marketing their products and selling as much as they can. Some good ideas being branded about though and some of the lesser experienced are getting good tips from established bordermen.
Been another wet day here just adding to already soaked land. Same story up and down the country. One of my staff/coach was in Millfield School today (Somerset) and he said the fields along the side of the M5 and along the roads leading into Street were just completely water logged as far as you can see. It take ages for fields to recover from so much water, no wonder the farmers are all being run out of business.
Go on the Met Office long range forecast (5 weeks) and you will see that the cold spell from America is due in about 3 weeks here but the Gulf Stream has diluted it somewhat and no where near as bad as it could have been. One thing for sure though is that there is some cold weather heading the UK's way - prepare best you can and try to stabalise the temperature in your birdroom or else get caught out with birds late going down - a couple of weeks freezing can make a drastic change to your breeding season at the begining.
If you are available later tonight and want to catch up with everyone then log on to the Chatroom about 9.15pm onwards
You will see The Neverest Girls logo opposite, well I couldn't say no to my daughter and have agreed she can put it on my site. Mainly because any girl (or man) that wants to run the Mount Everest Marathon deserves all the credit they can get. Please just click the link, have a browse around their website the more hits they get the better and more chance of sponsorship. If all my website members could forward their website link to your address book I would have done my bit for the cause.
You will see that I have put a logo and link to the Product TierWohl Super on the Home Page.
After negotiating with Tim at AJM Pet Products (Bristol) this is the best deal he can offer us, it is fractionally cheaper than Zooplus for the same product but there are discounts to be had if you bulk buy and distribute locally. There is no doubt from the feedback we are getting that this stuff is the perfect replacement for GoldChip and will be available for the foreseable future. If sales are good then I am hopefull that we might be able to squeeze the price down further??????
Thats me done with this now - we have got a supplier, happy to deal with us on personal order basis and develop relationship with the Border Fancy
332 borders entered for the last show of the season at the IBFCC January Show
Back at work proper today and full on with everyone emptying their in trays and catching up after the xmas break. So a busy week ahead and then away for the national Ranking Competition this weekend at Bath, news is that it is quite wet down there at the minute so might need wellies and arm bands. Be good to catch up and see all my work collegues though after the xmas holidays.
It is absolutely tipping it down here in Blackpool at the minute and winds to go with it - but even worse news is that the weather America is getting is on course to hit the UK in 4 - 5 weeks time omg here we go again, exactly what happended last year bad in the States and they blew it over the Atlantic to us. Just what we need (not).
We will have to keep an eye on the long range weather forecast for that one.
Results from the East Antrim BFCC Show:
Best Border: D Somerville
Best Champion: J McClean
Note, some of Joe McClean's prize winning borders are now on the show us yours page.
Full results will be posted by Colin on on the BC Website shortly.
Getting more positive feedback about the Tierwohl Super - this morning our friend Lyn Rowlands let me know that he split one of the 24kg bales he had received into 2 x Goldchip bags and just filled both nicely. So the prices he got from AJ Pet Products (Tim) is excellent value. I am waiting for Tim to get back to me with a deal for our site members but I dont think better value will be gained over the buying per pallet and split locally.
Had a good morning in the shed, very pleased with the birds and how they are looking, hope they continue to come on as they are. Having a break now for an hour, going to put my bet on! have a brew and then back to work in the shed.
(Hannahs Turn at Southwell tomorrow! so I am told)
Cor blimey, some companies drive a hard bargain!! as you may well know I am trying to get the best deal for everyone for the Tierwohl super sawdust/chips. Having now seen the product I can add my recommendation to those on the Forum that say it is as good as the old Goldchip and in fact better. It is!!
I have had a reply back from the Customer Service Team of Zooplus (a global company btw) and the email is as follows:
Thank you for your enquiry and for your interest in collaborating with zooplus. The Tierwohl Super product certainly gets good reviews on the German zooplus site where it is very popular.
Unfortunately in the UK, partly due to lower sales than in Germany we have a fairly low margin and we would be unable to offer a discounted price and still make a profit.
We would still appreciate you sending people to our site though and anyone looking to make a bulk order may find they actually get the best price by ordering from the German zooplus website where the cost is lower.
Customer Services Team Zooplus.
I dont think personal this is a good deal and for me to offer to link them to the website members I think deserves a doscount code for everyone ??
So this afternoon I had a VERY positive conversation with Tim from AJM at Bristol and low and behold he does stock the Teirwohl Super and in 15kg bags as not to have the monster 24kg bags. Tim is right now looking at what he can out together price wise and see how delivery can be managed with a view to marketing the Teirwohl Super thro the our website and any discount passed on to the members by way of a good price. As I explained to Tim I only see this as a way of helping the bordermen, he can promote on here for no fee other than a good price for the bedding. Hold tight for a day or so before ordering and I will let you know how it all works out.
The one good thing no matter were we get it from, this is a good product, dust free and fit for purpose.
I am sure there are lots of little ones trotting in and out of birdrooms up and down the country, what with visiting grandchildren and children of your own. I think it is a brilliant sight to see the smiley faces and learning about the birds even at such a young age. My friend Alan Scott has had his daughter and family over from New Zealand for Xmas and you only have to look at the faces in the slide show opposite to see how happy they all are (even Alan is smiling more than usual, and he never stops smiling) Safe journey back to NZ Rach and family, we look forward to seeing you back in the UK on holiday again soon - send some photos and I will upload to keep a check on our junior members!
The little one in the pink hat is my grand daughter, dab hand with a brush in the shed but not quite got the hang of sweeping into a pile - more of a spreading technique :-)
My aircon unit arrived today - not run it up yet but looks the business and bargain price - www.aircondirect.com check the unboxed bargains - mine was £399 down to £158 - 47% discount I think. It has built in thermostat, de-humidifier and re-cycling own water as not to fill up tank. Will give it a whirl and see how I get on with it this year, got to be better than roasting hot shed on the one summer day we might get :-)
Hope everyone now recovered if over endulged last night!! so here we are in 2014 and the start of a new border season. Many will have started the conditioning programme today and some holding of for a while yet. Personally I start increasing the lights by 15min now (most know I dont have any natural light in my shed) this will continue to 14 hours light a day by which time the birds will (hopefully) be ready to breed. Light along with increased protien levels and good variety of food and vitamins are the simple ingredients in my opinion to prepare the birds. Today I gave them a dose of baycox and will repeat in 7 days time, this will be the last before pairing up.
This year I am hoping to feature a live cam on a bird that is paired up, sitting and then fingers crossed rearing a nest of chicks - probably jinx it from the start knowing our luck. I will keep you updated on that one as my live streming knowledge improves.
Catch up later in the chatroom if you are around.
Countdown now on and only a matter of hours until we hit 2014 and all that the new years brings. Many will be celebrating tonight and I think more likely celebrating the end of a troublesome year and wishing it well out the way. For me personally New Years eve comes and goes, but I do reflect on the past year briefly and think about the good and bad times of the past year - we will all be starting 2014 hoping that we have good health, fortune and make new friends. The website has continued to bring many of us together that would otherwise just be names we hear of or see on result sheets. So for my final News item of 2013 I wish you all the best of luck, best of health and good fortune in 2014.
Not a huge amount happening today, been in shed and built a chest of drawers (finally) this will help with clearing some of the clutter that I have hanging around and too useful to throw away! sure we all have some of the same. I used a couple of pair of Lizards this year for emergencies and they were fantastic little parents, so I let them rear a nest of their own at the end and kept 3 pair back for this year mixture of flighted and unflighted - one of the young hens I kept back is now singing better than most cocks so I am a lizard hen short. If anyone has a contact that might have a gold lizard hen to go, then drop me an email please. Otherwise I will pick one up at Stafford maybe.
My cock birds are in good form at the minute and along with the hens they are improving day by day - I bet some of the birds we let go have change 100% now and also looking fab. Tried to get a long range weather forecast today from some of the specialist weather sites online and nothing concrete except we still have a cold spell to come at the end of January start of February - nothing new there then. My conditioning programme will be such that I will/should be able to put birds together at the end of February / first week of March if all goes to plan. Not got such a crazy summer this year but will have to be completely finished breeding by first week of July because away overseas on and off from then. Prior to that max time away will be 5 - 7days.
Can't wait until I have retired and can devote as much time as needed to the birds.
The Chatroom as expected was quiet over Xmas but a few hard core members stuck it out each night. Most of the chat will be about the breeding season and conditioning programmes no doubt for next few weeks. Join in if you want to have some banter and chat with other members of the site. about 9.30pm each night seems to be peak times.
Had a good day in the shed today, made some new shelving and storage units - needed to change my system of keeping things and just generally have a tidy up. I wonder how many are in the "I have always done it this way" bracket? or "I have done it like that for years"
I have since being involved with elite sport to highest level (support team to olympic medals in last 4 olympic games) tried to apply the logic of change to all aspects of what I do, in that do what you always do and you get the same outcome. The truth is that things move on, systems develop, methods change - for example we no longer run in black plimsoles at a few bob a pair, we run in Adidas cushioned £150 a pair trainers.
So how do we manage change and what difference does it make?
1. Change makes you flexible in your appraoch to new ideas. Being stubborn and resistant to new things will make a stressing situation even more so.
2. Change makes you smarter. If things never changed, you’d never learn anything new. And every time you learn a new skill — even if it’s just how to adapt — you are that much smarter than you were yesterday and better equipped to deal with problems as they arise.
For years I have watched chicks hanging out the nest the shed has been so hot, hens sitting on nests with beaks open gasping for air - I know this is a fact in many birdrooms over the short summer we have. I say to myself it will be cooler tomorrow, then it isn't!!
So my change for 2014 is for less than £200 from Aircon Direct I am getting a portable aircon unit with built in thermostat etc and will have a shed at temperature I want during the summer. I will let everyone know how I get on.
All the best for now (world darts getting exciting)
Morning everyone, back in the UK and out of the snow for the time being. Left snow behind in Chamonix but back to some terrible weather yesterday and bad storms in the North West but not the floods that have hit the South East. Hope non of our bordermen suffered.
Now got a few days to really get stuck in to the jobs in the shed, I will take this opportunity to re-soak all the next bowls, wash out any cages again that have become soiled anyway and general housekeeping in the shed. I have alittle bit of painting to do and want to just put up a couple of shelves after a shuffle round of few things to make more effiecient.
I am looking at 8 - 10 weeks now of conditioning for the birds starting with extending the light a little each Monday morning (I have no natural light so use artificial light all year round) Final jottings for the pairing up and see what is going with what will be written down, although some minor changes will be made as birds dictate if not fit enough. Started sprinkling some soft insect patte on the floor to keep the birds interested and active, also increases the protien level nice and slowly. Check avian.com for some good products used for exotic birds that have to be in tip top condition to even have half a chance of breeding (sunbirds and humming birds and the more exotic softbills)
So 2013 nearly over and as we enter 2014 maybe time to reflect on what happened in 2013, did we breed less birds overall, if you did breed less are you now preparing for 2014 with same process that failed you last year? some people I talk to tell me they struggle to breed 6 - 8 birds every year but when quizzed they do the same thing every year!! here is a bit of logic "practise does not make perfect" it makes permanent" so therefore perfect practise make perfect. Were show numbers down? have we lost more fanciers that we gained this year and if on slippery slope, how steep is it? I know that statistics influence reports we read but as I know in my job, statistics and percentages can be fudged to produce what people want you to read. What we need to know from the people who are our hidden talent (those that breed outstanding birds in little back garden sheds, don't show at specialist shows etc) is what is preventing them from doing so and what can be done to help them. Maybe time for a strategic review of current situation with outcome to be some recommendations for next 3 years to recruit and retain new members. Thats the pin out of the hand grenade! now getting in my bunker before the flak heads this way!
Bye for now
Woke this morning to a down pour of snow overnight and some serious snow clearing to be done. (See photos taken this morning)! Andrea tells me they have to do this twice a day. But everyone here just seems to get on with it, with this much snow in the UK we would be at a stand still. So our little trip comes to an end and packing complete for the journey home shortly. It was good to see everyone together but personally the snow isn't for me. Looking forward to getting home and be in the shed before the lights go out tonight.
Catch up later
Happy Xmas everyone from a snowing Chamonix, seems strange and almost unreal looking out of the lounge window in my daughters house to see snow falling and Monte Blanc less than a few hundred metres away taking on a postcard image. But it all comes to an end tomorrow and we fly back home - but not without me conducting a recce of the local sports centre and facilities for me to bring a team out to train in the summer.
Not had any calls from home so assuming the birds are ok! looking forward to getting back in the shed tomorrow afternoon and then for a few days before back to the grindstone of work in the new year.
Then the exciting weeks preparing the birds for the breeding season - that said I am of the opinion that preparation is ongoing all year because it is the lifestyle you allow the birds that makes the difference and the final 8 weeks just brings them into condition for breeding - this alongside the conditions (light, heat and nutrition)
Again, good luck for 2014
Evening everyone - I have landed in Chamonix and some photo's so far are next the the News Box. Plenty of snow high up and the kids have already been out skiiing and the little one enjoyed being dragged along on the sledge. Hannah my sons girlfriend has found her way around the slopes and now well into skiiing. As for me??? I have found my way to the house sofa and wifi so what more could I want whilst the others freeze, fall and ache.
In case I dont get online tomorrow, can I wish all our friends of the website a happy christmas and even more important a prosperus New Year with lots of young borders to blossom later in the year.
Catch up later in the chatroom if possible.
The power of websites and the internet come to the fore yet again! The matter of a new bedding has filled my inbox today and also some good info on the Forum page.
Seems that the Teirwohl Super (granulated) is actually as good if not better than Goldchip. I have emailed Germany this afternoon to the place that actually produce the stuff to see what they can do for us - maybe we can start a regular delivery to UK and co-ord it with a show or just somewhere to distribute it from - I dont know? There are some distributors already in UK but they will have their mark up and possible delivery charges on top of that, so any savings by us getting it minus the middle man is bound to be a bonus. Main thing is that it is good stuff and does the job. There is also the company ACS that supply clean sawdust but reports are that it is not dust free but very clean and no one has had any problems with it. As with all these things though the postage/delivery charge is crippling.
The wind outside is so bad at the minute is is tripping the shed alarm - don't need that happening all the time I am away or the next door neighbour will be dead chuffed. Our house sitter is not best pleased either, got to do the dogs and keep eye on birds! but they will be fine, lights all on timer and fountain drinkers on with double up seed hoppers.
If anyone has anymore ideas about alternative bedding, drop a post on the Forum Page please.
For those not aware yet, Lillico have changed their supplier of Goldchip sawdust - this has beent he subject of great debate on the chatroom for the past few evenings and members are annoyed that the bags have been reduced to 10kg from 15kg and the price is reported as being higher than before. Some people have ordered the new stuff and sent it back apparently because not happy with it. There does seems to be some good options around though for anyone wishing to change from Goldchip. Once I get the best of these I will put something on the website for everyone to see. If you want any further feedback then come onto the chatroom about 9.15 - 10pm and you can discuss what others are going to use instead. The one that seems to be topping the bill at the moment is a product from Zooplus that comes in 25kg bales and is dust free and very similar to Goldchip. £16 a bag but more than 1 bag and delivery is free? If the product is good then for 25kg that isn't too bad compared with Goldchip (unless you got a pallet at a time) Standby for more information. Might be worth someone starting a Forum article so that others can join in.
Footage just in from the after party following the 2013 BBFCC show at Fleetwood. See the box opposite this news item box. It seems that Billy Heathcote found a Line Dancing Club and took the Chatroom members wifes down the town. Needless to say now that this news is out and footage found, Billy will have some sticky questions to answer.
Working towards trying to get a few full days off over xmas and hopefully close down sometime this week. Need sometime in the shed before nipping to my daughters for Christmas Day - want to have a complete clean out and do some housekeeping or shed keeping as the case maybe.
Interesting fact came my way today, an Ostriches Eye is larger than its brain - I will leave you to ponder that as to if relevant to our fancy or not.
Birds are still progressing and this years youngsters looking fab now - as usual growing on at this time of year and maturing nicely. I am pleased with what I am taking forward to 2014, just hope that we get off to a good start once the birds go down. Time will tell, time will tell.
Very many thanks to Neil Tench for taking the time to video, cut and then upload the footage from the West Wales BFCC Show. These links are now available opposite this news item box. Neil told me he went to Fleetwood with intention of doing similar but as I too have found out over past couple of years it is just too dim to get any footage at all of the show. Flash or spotlights are not permitted for obvious reasons so for now video footage of the Fleetwood show remains a challenge.
Thanks again Neil for the support to the fancy and providing us with excellent video footage.
Northern Ireland BFCC Results
Best T & J Furley
2nd D Somerville
3rd D Somerville
4th D Somerville
5th W Beggs
6th T O’Keefe
7th D Somerville
Best P Neal
2nd P Neal
3rd M McKenzie
4th I Walsh
5th J Mclean
6th P Neal
7th C Vage
Follow me on Twitter - @masonborders
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